Please welcome this week’s featured blogger, Varda of The Squashed Bologna.
Dear Friends I’ve Never Met
I’m thrilled to be here at Shell’s today. But I have to say also a little anxious. Her blog is called “Things I Can’t Say” and her guest post feature is “Things They Can’t Say.” But the thing is? I pretty much say EVERYTHING, am fully “out there” on my blog. And the few things I don’t say? I’m not going to go into here, either, as I DO want to stay married.
But one thing I don’t think I’ve ever quite done is put my love of my blogging friends into words. So I will rectify that today… starting with Shell:
Thank you so much for being such a good bloggy friend to so many, for creating this wonderful community here, for being a connector-of-people of the highest order. You are special my friend, very special; and I am honored to have been asked to post with you today.
I have the most amazing friends I’ve never met.
My real-life friends? The ones whose children did or do go to school with mine, the ones I met on the playground in those early days of figuring out how to survive motherhood, the autism/special needs moms I’ve met in support groups or on SN school tours or recognized via their kids with my “ASD-dar” and sidled up to seeking connection (and the precious few from my worldly past who have stuck with me through these crazed child-centric years)?
All these I cherish. They are probably getting tired of hearing me declare, at least once a month, that I have, right now, the best group of friends I’ve ever had in my entire life. Ever.
We drink coffee together, fortifying ourselves for our too-full crazy days. We laugh. Sometimes we grocery shop in tandem, turning a chore into a communal experience.
But they are not my blogging friends, whose inner lives I am so constantly keen to, whose private-most thoughts I have swum in since the moment I first laid eyes upon… their words on a computer screen.
I don’t know how I can adequately describe this immediate intimacy unless you are one of this tribe (and as you are reading this on a blog, you may well be).
I have been a part of so many groups in my long and varied life. But being a blogger is a different type of belonging, one that crosses so many seeming boundaries.
One of the things I love the most about this tribe is how all encompassing it is. We are Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Pagans, Buddhists, and devout Atheists, Mormons, secular humanists, and, I believe, at least one Zoroastrian. Doesn’t matter.
We live in cities, small towns, farms, near wilderness, seacoasts, mountains, deserts, America, Canada, Ireland, France, Turkey, Brazil, Australia, Korea, and a thousand places in between.
Some few I have actually met in real life… the ones that are local New York folk, or when we have gathered at blogging conferences. And these meetings are always too brief, too fleeting; but ecstatic, filled to the brim with feeling.
For some, blogging is a lifeline, their local friends few and far between; a way out of isolation. Others, like me, are part of a large and lively community in their home town, but still they seek something more. We are a goup of driven over-sharers, who also want to know each other; for we don’t only write, we read, too. A lot.
I know the pain of your divorce, how your joy at the birth of your third child is tempered with the sadness that she will certainly be your last, the devastation of the loss of your only brother, the torturous childhood you barely survived.
I know the wrenching details of your PPD, ADD, PTSD, infertility, addiction, betrayal. And also the depth of your strength as you have overcome, shone through. And the fierce love (with teeth) you have for your children, family, home.
You know my struggles with my own ADD; the many fears and frustrations surrounding my one son’s autism; the pain of my beloved father’s death, the days I am mourning him, still; and yet also the joy of my sons’ many triumphs and happinesses; the thrill of my autistic son’s progress.
My friends at the coffee shop, we don’t go there, often. We tell sweet stories about our children, commiserate about homework wars, complain about our husbands, make each other laugh.
This is not to say these are superficial relationships, fair-weather friends. We ARE decidedly there for each other, support each other through thick and thin. It’s just we don’t dive deep every day, there is no need.
But you, my bloggy friends? We go there. Every. single. day. Sometimes, yes, you are light and frothy and make me laugh until I snort coffee out my nose. But I also know what lies underneath your humor, I have read those – other – posts, too, where the fear and pain leaks out.
I consider you my friends. Not my “online ‘friends’ ha-ha” but true friends. Friends of the heart, and the mind. I may never deliver my cyber-hugs in person to you who have oceans and continents dividing us, you who have a child you cannot leave for even a day.
But know this: I am here, loving you. Whether you are one of my daily must-reads, my most intimate beloveds, my more-than-once-a-day tweets, or my occasional reads, my on-my-radar-but-loosely-tethered connections… you have touched me, changed me, forever.
This parenting journey, with its mad twists and unexpected turns, is something I had never imagined would be quite like this. It has taken me to places wondrous and terrifying, and none more strange and strangely beautiful as this: the (mostly mom) blogging world.
My need to share my parenting joys and sorrows has lead me to you: my blog friends. You, who I would not trade for anything; not even for a magic carpet to fly me high over the bumps and chasms in the road, straight to my presumed destination.
For I would rather trod along the earth, its every up and down, with you at my side; discovering what lies ahead as we come upon it, laughing and crying our way through this terrain together.
P.S. I need lots of help for next week’s Things They Can’t Say- please check out my facebook fanpage today for how to participate.